Impostors by Scott Westerfeld
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
(Yeah – I forgot that the Uglies universe happens in the present tense. That’s MY mistake. I was a little too focused on how well Mr. Westerfeld writes and my eagerness to dive back into that world setting. However, the tense issue always receives an automatic strike down when I can’t find a justification for using it)
Watching the world unfold post-mind rain? How can a reader not shiver with the anticipation of what might happen after the uproar Tally set in motion? And Mr. Westerfeld didn’t disappoint with a presentation of two different (three?) views. Shreve and Victoria stand on opposite ends of a delicate scale, with the rebels scrambling back and forth between the two. And while he doesn’t dive very far into the political landscape of this new world, you catch glimpses of it throughout the dialogue and plot. The questions posed could lead in a hundred different directions, promising characters and stories for decades. But instead of fulfilling that promise, he leaves you with a limping romance between unlikely sources – with a dash of action thrown into the mix to keep the tempo from sinking into the sludge.
Despite the text’s ACTUAL claims, Frey’s character is fragmented and clumsy. She begins as a ruthless killing machine, but she ends as a doe-eyed Juliet. And it takes no more than a handful of days for the transformation? It’s jarring. While her upbringing might suggest some level of inexperience and innocence (in certain areas), you wouldn’t expect rampant stupidity to fall in there. Yet she dissolves into a typical teenage girl at the drop of a hat. Then she’s back to a hardened robot in the next moment. It’s off-balance and makes no sense. While I grasp that this is only the first book, with the potential to iron out some underlying quirk, the gaps and questions pile up. You’re left wondering whether this timeline happened prior to the mind rain rather than after. As a protagonist? She’s tepid at best. At least with Tally, she had a definite, even temperament and personality throughout her story arc. Frey doesn’t come close to measuring up.
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